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Is Pantothenic Acid a Magic Cure for Acne?

In 2014 a study was published that reported success treating acne using a high dose of pantothenic acid, also known as Vitamin B5.   As you can imagine, as a Naturopathic Doctor specializing in acne I was immediately all over this study.

Could there really be a magic pill for acne?  It seemed too good to be true.  After digging into the study, trying the protocol with my patients and investigating pantothenic acid a bit more I decided to drop pantothenic acid from my acne protocol.  Here’s why.

The Study

One small study is not usually conclusive, and this holds true for the research paper published in 2014 suggesting that pantothenic acid could reduce acne lesions.  More research needs to be done – but it did spark so many questions and interesting insights!

The study was conducted with 40 patients (mostly women) over the course of 12 weeks.  Patients were given 2.2 grams of pantothenic acid daily, and at the end of 12 weeks the number of blemishes on the skin was compared with their baseline (the number of blemishes on their face at the beginning of the study).

The chart of results is shown below:

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The blue bar represents the number of acne lesions at baseline and week 12 in the patients taking a pantothenic acid supplement.  The red bar represents the number of acne lesions at baseline and week 12 in the patients taking a placebo, which means participants THINK they are taking an active medication, but they are not.

As you can see, even though there are some significant results with pantothenic acid, there is also a tremendous result with the placebo – when the study subjects just THINK that they are taking a remedy.  This is called the placebo effect, and it demonstrates that our mind is incredibly powerful – when we think we are taking a remedy we will experience healing.

My question is – even though the study claims that pantothenic acid reduces acne lesions by 67% – how much of that improvement is actually attributed to the placebo effect?

The other interesting thing about the study is that almost all the improvement in acne was seen in non-inflammatory acne, which is blackheads and small whiteheads.  

Acne that was more inflamed, red and cystic did not see the same improvement as milder acne.  This suggests that pantothenic acid is more effective against mild acne.

What is Pantothenic Acid?

Pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, is converted in the body to Coenzyme A (CoA).  The  functions of CoA include converting fats, proteins and carbohydrates into energy, regulating skin function and cortisol production.

These functions are especially important in acne pathogenesis because pantothenic acid can affect fat and oil production in the skin, regulate keratinocyte proliferation, and moderate our stress response – all factors in acne pathogenesis.

For years we thought that pantothenic acid was delivered to our body solely through our diet.  Many food sources contain pantothenic acid, and it is highly bioavailable and absorbable.  It is found in eggs, meat, poultry, lentils, broccoli, cabbage, potatoes, while grains, nuts, and beans – basically most of the foods that are included in a healthy diet! 

Why does pantothenic acid help some mild cases of acne?

If you eat a diet composed mainly of processed foods, you may not get the amount of pantothenic acid required to keep your body healthy.  A daily diet of processed cereals, peanut butter sandwiches, sodas and pizza is void in all nutrients (not just vitamin B5)! 

But it turns out that a pantothenic acid deficiency has less to do with diet, and more to do with the microbiome.

More recent research has revealed that B vitamins are not only acquired through our food but also produced by our microbiome.  In fact, studies are suggesting our most important source of pantothenic acid and other B vitamins is actually from our intestinal microbiome.

This means that if your gut is not healthy and balanced you could be experiencing a deficiency in pantothenic acid, regardless of how much you eat in your diet.  And this is why high-dose supplementation of pantothenic acid is able to positively affect mild acne in some people.  It is thought that a high dose is able to flood the pantothenic acid receptors temporarily to produce CoA in the body.  As discussed before, CoA helps regulate lipid metabolism, keratinocyte turnover and the stress response.

But think about it – in our diet we need approximately 5mg of pantothenic acid per day.  It takes 2.2 grams of synthetic pantothenic acid daily to trigger the response that should be happening naturally in our body.   As a Naturopathic Doctor, I want deeper healing for my patients.

Why do I not recommend high-dose pantothenic acid for acne.

1. As a Naturopathic Doctor I am always investigating the underlying cause of a condition so I can solve the problem for good. Taking high dose pantothenic acid daily does not solve the root issue.  It masks an underlying problem.  Once you stop taking the supplement, the acne will come back.

2. One of the root problems of acne is an imbalanced microbiome. This is what leads to a deficiency of endogenous pantothenic acid in the body, which can negatively affect lipid metabolism and epidermal regulation which can lead to acne.  Instead of targeting the pantothenic acid deficiency by flooding the body’s receptors with synthetic pantothenic acid, my goal is to re-regulate its natural production in the body.

3. When the microbiome is balanced, not only will the body produce adequate amounts of pantothenic acid, but many other imbalances in the body will also improve. Digestion will start to work optimally, inflammation will decline and hormones will start to naturally balance.  Supplemental pantothenic acid will not affect any of the other imbalances caused by an unhealthy microbiome.

4. Supplemental pantothenic acid only affects mild acne, and often my patient population have moderate to severe acne – which means that deeper and more complete healing is required.

5. High dose pantothenic acid works for some people, and not for others. I like to eliminate guesswork as much as possible which is why I choose not to use it in my patient protocols.

The Bottom Line

Supplemental pantothenic acid is a band-aid solution for a much more serious problem – an unbalanced microbiome.  In my practice I choose to solve the underlying issues and get rid of acne for good.

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Osita Eze, Youth Pastor
Posted 5 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

     Sometime ago, I attended a youth programme and overheard one of the high-ranking priests lamenting that many of the youths in the Anglican Church are breaking their (spiritual) fathers’ hearts by relocating to the Pentecostal circle especially after they had invested so much virtues in them.  Several questions came up in my mind when I heard this statement. (1). Is it really compulsory for a Christian youth to remain permanently in the church/ denomination he was born into? My answer to that question is “No”. If God is leading a Christian youth to relocate to another church especially if he or she is no longer enjoying spiritual balanced diet, he or she should by no means move on to another church.

(2). Must all outstanding Christian youths become members of the hierarchical pastoral order of a church? My answer is “No”. If God has not called a youth into the ministry let no pastor or priest ‘call’ him into any of the five-fold ministries.  He or she should not be cajoled or pressurized into accepting such ‘call’. Otherwise that would amount to asking the young man or woman to take on more responsibilities than he or she was created/destined to handle.

(3). Is it really wrong for a member of a church or denomination to attend programmes of other churches or denominations? My answer is “No”. It is quite alarming that several Christian leaders had promoted and are still promoting disunity by discouraging their younger followers from attending meetings or fellowship organized by other church leaders or even interact with other Christians no matter how spiritual or godly they are.  Some of them even go to the extent of suspending those who attended such programmes from their responsibility (ies) in church. Let us stop the hypocrisy. Pray for unity in the Body of Christ, preach unity in the Body of Christ and practice unity in the Body of Christ.

(4). Is it compulsory for a Christian youth to remain bounded to his or her church/denomination by marrying a fellow believer from his or her church? Marrying a believer from your church/ denomination is a good idea but it is advisable that a Christian marries a man or woman that fears God, irrespective of his or her denomination.

     Please do not get me wrong. It is not that I do not care about the emotional pains pastors go through each time their followers relocate to another church for whatever reason. I do but the best bet is that pastors and priests should learn to release people from their hearts when they leave the churches they oversee without hurting themselves or anyone. It is also important for a pastor or priest to identify and discover the departments or units of his church where more hands are needed and personally ask the Lord of the harvest to send more labourers to meet those specific needs in the church he pastors.

                                                                                                        

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Posted 11 Months ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments

Written By Izunna Okafor


It was indeed a festival words and  dulcet epopees at Awka, the capital city of Anambra State, as Opinions From Africa for (OFA) rocked the state with first made-in-Anambra Poetry Concert, which held amidst cultural displays and musical pantomime.

Speaking at the event, the state's Commissioner for Basic Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha described the event as apt and impactful, and further maintained that it was in line with the policy and programs of Governor Willie Obiano, who she said, is greatly committed to discovering, empowering promoting, enhancing and encouraging creativity among the youths in the state.


Prof. Omenugha, who was represented by the Public Relation Officer of the ministry, Mr. Nnaemeka Egwuonwu, expressed satisfaction with the presentations by the young talents, and argued that there were lots of lessons to be learnt from them.


She said, "I cannot fully express how excited I am, seeing these well talented youths come and talk about very serious issues in the society with carefully chosen and artistically designed poetic lines and words, and give us food for thought on what is happening in the society today, thereby giving us hope for Africa, for the Black Race, for Nigeria and for the society in general. 

"So I feel highly delighted being part of this program; and I also commend the organizers for the wonderful work they have done."


Earlier in his opening remarks, the convener of the event, Mrs. Jidechukwu Angela Nwabueze said the event tagged "African Sensation," was aimed at celebrating Africa, telling the Africa's story, and proffering solutions to Africa's problems through poetry, as well as featuring young poets from various parts of the country.

She appreciated individuals and organisations who contributed in one way towards the success of the event, including the Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation (ANPC) which is also one of their media partners 


On his own part, the founder of Opinions From Africa (OFA), Mr. Kaosisochukwu Nwagboso said the association founded in 2017 is a non-governmental organization with the objective of gathering poets, creative minds and intellectuals from different a academic fields, to utilize their skills, talents and brain power in rebranding and making Africa great. 


Some of the participants at the event, including Maryjane Onyekaba who presented a poem entitled "Good Morning Africa;"  Ibiam Ude Ufiem who presented "Ozoemena;" Cynthia Ekeka who presented "The Voice of Africa;" and Raymond Mimi who presented "Africa Who Are We?" among others called on Africans, particularly the youths to wake up, hold tight their heritage as Ndi Africa, and also contribute to the development of Africa and promoting her identity.

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